Design For 3D Printing

Triangle Prototypes Use Pioneering Topology Optimisation And Advanced Lattices To Accelerate Your Products Ahead Of The Competition

Designing for 3D printing needs both; a different approach and experience. We are specialists in developing and modifying parts to suit 3D printing (Additive Manufacturing). We have extensive experience with this form of production, and we know how to Design For Manufacture. Also, we have different and advanced design tools available. These are more costly and impracticable to use with traditional production. Whether it’s reducing the material usage, so production cost is less, or, you need a part to be extremely light and still durable.

Notably, we’ve improved:

  • Firearm stocks to be strong and lightweight with internal lattices.
  • Components for advanced racing bicycles.
  • Gearbox selector brackets and motorsport engine components.
  • Handheld 3D scanner frames, industrial camera mounts, and more.

Benefits of our Design For 3D Printing service:

  • Topology Optimisation. We test a stock part in simulation, so we know what material to remove safely. However, we don’t lose required strength and stiffness. This process removes weight, and often regarding 3D printing – cost. This process leaves a very organic and functional part.
  • Orientation. 3D printing works by building layers on top of each other, and a parts orientation during manufacture can affect its characteristics. Placing features in a way that compliments their purpose can increase part quality and reduce post-processing.
  • Integrating internal lattices. Again, these are similar to the function of topology optimisation. Lattice frames help reduce weight over a solid piece and maintain its strength. Various types are also available, each with unique characteristics:
    • Full internal lattice frames – Used to fill a cavity that would otherwise be solid. High uniform directional strength, though they take up most of the usable space. We use these in a space that does not need to accommodate another function.
    • Conform-able lattice frames – Designed to fit the form of a part. High directional strength, and can accommodate other functions in the part space.
    • Structural rib lattice frames – Used to strengthen a specific area or feature, and can be either internal or external.

Our Past Work Includes

  • Strengthening thin walls in containers with conform-able lattices.
  • Using structural rib lattices to increase local strength in tube assembly junctions.
  • Internal full lattices, an example being to strengthen a new sporting firearm stock design. The lattice helped keep it a quarter of the weight of the original wooden stock.
  • Using topology optimisation to reduce mass of material in racing components. In competitive sports – like car and bicycle racing – weight reduction is a high priority. An even higher priority is safety. So, if you can keep a component safe, but make it lighter, you gain the advantage.

General Pricing

Design work is charged for per part, with an initial estimate provided. Additional required modifications to that which were estimated are either charged as follows;

  • At an hourly rate of £50, if minor.
  • Quote provided if more than 4 hours of work is needed.
  • Specialised simulations or consultancy may require an additional cost, which will be quoted on before or during the project.

As every project is unique, and tailored to you, there is no fixed price. We look at several factors to determine a quote. Among these are:

  • Complexity – The more detail, the longer it takes to model. Specialised designs are usually a higher cost. Features that are less conventional and need extra input add to the complexity.
  • Information Provided By Client – If a model will be made from a physical sample as opposed to existing drawings. The extra time taken to measure the part manually adds some cost.
  • Present-ability – Modeling parts to be aesthetically pleasing will take more time than one designed for purely functional manufacture.
  • Interactive Features – Models that have moving parts, or are part of an assembly need extra checks to ensure they will work as intended.
  • Simulations Required – If parts need to have either FEA or CFD simulation, this is an additional charge.

To find out what we can do for you, please get in touch.